Anne Sheepshanks

Anne Sheepshanks (1789–1876) was a British astronomical benefactor.

Anne Sheepshanks
Died8 February 1876
Known forgifts to Astronomy


Sheepshanks was born in Leeds in 1794. She was the daughter of Joseph and Ann Sheepshanks. Her mother was from Kendal and her father was a cloth manufacturer. Her brothers were John and Richard Sheepshanks. In 1819 her brother Richard returned from being tenth wrangler and after obtaining his master's degree at Trinity College, Cambridge. Sheepshanks went to live with him. When he died unmarried in Reading in 1855 she was his heir.[1] She gave 196 books from her brother's book collection to the Royal Astronomical Society.[2]

Sheepshanks gave £10,000 to the Cambridge Observatory. This fund was used to purchase a modern photographic telescope at the observatory, which was named in her honour, and also to establish the Sheepshanks Exhibition.[3] She became an honorary member of the Royal Astronomical Society.[4] The crater Sheepshanks on the Moon is also named after her, one of the few lunar craters with a female eponym.[1]


  1. ^ a b Clerke, Agnes M.; Hoskin, Michael (2004). "Sheepshanks, Richard (1794–1855)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/25288. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  2. ^ Hollis, H. P. (1923). Dreyer, J. L. E.; Turner, H. H. (eds.). History of the Royal Astronomical Society, 1820–1920. London, United Kingdom: Royal Astronomical Society. p. 192. ISBN 0-632-02173-X. Retrieved 4 December 2019.
  3. ^ Society, Royal Astronomical (1877-01-01). Monthly Notices ...: Containing Papers, Abstracts of Papers, and Reports of the Proceedings of the Society.
  4. ^ Anne Sheepshanks: patron, benefactor, sister, by Mark Hurn A&G (2016) 57 (3): 3.11.